Hip osteoarthritis is a painful condition caused by degeneration and wear of articular cartilage. With degeneration of the articular cartilage, the smooth motion of the hip, and its shock-absorbing capability, is compromised. Extra bone pieces, called osteophytes, can develop , which also impacts hip motion.
Treatments to slow down arthritic changes mainly involve lifestyle changes. Weight loss, low-impact activities, keeping the muscles around the hip toned, core strengthening, and possibly glucosamine chondroitan are recommended.
Back to your main question, how can you lose weight without irritating your hip? Avoid high impact activities! Running is generally not a good activity on an arthritic hip. Walking is acceptable, but choose a softer surface at a lower rate of speed. One option is a treadmill at a slight incline. Biking is another great low-impact activity. With the decrease in hip motion often seen with osteoarthritis, a recumbent bike is sometimes necessary. Elliptical trainers / gliders are also easier on the hips.
The best activity to take the load off your hip is anything done in the water. Water therapy classes are offered at many health clubs and physical therapy offices. Water buoyancy decreases the load-bearing of the hips. Also, in order to keep your core temperature around 98.6 F, your body must burn calories.